Air India flew all-female flight on Women’s Day

IMG_8100-webSAN FRANCISCO: Commemorating International Women’s Day, India’s national carrier Air India Flight 173 took off on Sunday March 6 from Delhi to reach San Francisco, with an all-female crew, making it the longest flight staffed entirely by women in history. The airline was operated by all-women crew led by Captain Kshamta Bajpayee and Captain Shubhangi Singh, along with First Officers Ramya Kirti Gupta and Amrit Namdhari.

Sandeep Roy Choudhury, Air India Manager San Francisco, described the 17-hour flight as a “symbol of women empowerment.” The airline has immense respect for women. All the on-board positions on the flight including the pilots, cabin crew, check-in staff, doctor, customer care, air traffic control and ground crew were held by women, added Sandeep. An event was hosted by Air India at Le Meridien, San Francisco CA on March 8th to felicitate the crew and their achievement.

Consul General Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok and Savita Vaidyanathan, Vice Mayor Cupertino, were the guests of honor. The event was attended by Air India officials, Deputy Consul General of India KJ Srinivasa and media.

Captain Kshamata Bajpayee said, “I feel truly blessed to be part of the Air India family. Only when you wish can you be granted that wish. Only when you dream can that dream come true, it has come true for me”.

Captain Shubhangi Singh told India Post, “I come from a modest family, and without any aviation background. I am overwhelmed to be part of an all-women crew in the history of aviation. It’s a long flight covering various countries. There are several procedures that we had to keep in mind. There is no shortcut to success, hard work, pays”.

“The entire message is actually to encourage young girls who have dreams of getting into the skies and they feel it’s too technical or this is something only men do. This flight’s a symbol that every single male-dominated function can be carried out by women safely and efficiently”, says the whole crew in one chord.

Air India’s mission to make women self-reliant forms a core facet of the national carrier’s corporate responsibility towards its women employees and reflects the “Truly Indian” tradition of showing respect to women. Air India was the first carrier in the world to operate an all-women crew in 1985.

The state-run airline has around 3,800 women workforce of the total 27,500 people with 20,500 of them regular. Every year Air India operates all-women flights to celebrate the International Women’s Day. This year they operated 18 flights with all women crews in both domestic and international routes.

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

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